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When Yes Bank report carried only brief obit of Ashok Kapur

An obituary message for Yes Bank founder chairman Ashok Kapur, who fell to terrorists’ bullets in the 26/11 attacks

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New Delhi: An obituary message for Yes Bank founder chairman Ashok Kapur, who fell to terrorists' bullets in the 26/11 attacks, was carried in a "tiny blink-and-miss paragraph" in the company's audit reports published five months later, claims a new book.

Kapur, who owned 12 per cent of the bank's shares, was a regular at the Trident-Oberoi hotel in Mumbai, kept an office there and had come to dine with his wife at the Kandahar restaurant on November 26, 2008.

Caught at the wrong time at the wrong place, as the terrorists entered the hotel and moved around, he and his wife Madhu had got separated. That turned out to be a fatal mistake for him. While she was led out by security officers with a group of other guests, he got caught in the shootings, says the book "Yes Man: The Untold Story of Rana Kapoor." "Five months after Kapur died, Yes Bank would summarise its annual operations for the financial year and put together its annual report, as required by all listed companies, which consisted of a director's report, balance sheet, financial statements, disclosures and more," writes author Pavan C Lall.

"Buried on the bottom of page 25, in a tiny blink-and-miss paragraph under 'Directors,' was a brief note," he says.

"Your directors express profound grief on the sad demise of Mr Ashok Kapur, Non-Executive chairman of the Bank on 28 November 2008. Your directors place on record their immense appreciation for the outstanding services rendered and the significant contribution made by Mr Kapur through the board and corporate governance roles, in his capacity as the first Non-Executive chairman of Yes Bank," the book quotes the note. Lall says that was it. "No memorial photograph, no retracing of his role in how he helped set up the bank or how he was the first promoter-chairman at Yes Bank. Only the bare minimum for the man who brought (Rana) Kapoor into Yes Bank and gave his career a new life when it had come to a grinding halt thanks to premature exits at his earlier jobs," he writes.

According to Companies Act stipulations, a company is required to do the bare minimum by way of notification but there are no restrictions when it comes to paying tributes, honour or congratulations to senior management, the book says.

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